For the past 16 years, Claudia Niebanck has positioned herself to be a helper to every woman who walks through the doors of Care Center in Southaven, Mississippi.
And when one young woman came in recently, Niebanck had the opportunity to make good on that offer again.
“She was getting evicted, and she was around 32 or 34 weeks pregnant, very far along,” said Niebanck, who serves as Care Center’s executive director.
The woman didn’t feel like she had any other options but to drive to another state for a late-term abortion. But when a center volunteer showed her the ultrasound of her unborn baby, the baby was waving — at her, the mother felt.
“The woman was crying, and she said, ‘OK, I’m going to have the baby, but will you help me?’ We talked to her and said, ‘Of course. Children are a gift from God, and He’s not going to abandon you. He’s flowing through us to help you, because that’s how special you are to Him,’” Niebanck said.
From there, Care Center set in motion all the help it had to offer, from prenatal vitamins to helping with Medicaid applications to providing clothes, diapers, parenting classes and Bibles.
Those resources are important in an area with much poverty and a high rate of premature deliveries and infant mortality, Niebanck said.
“We feel these women are the most disregarded section of the community,” she said. “How could we possibly leave them alone and unassisted? We do feel it’s a big responsibility, and we want to offer a full spectrum of services to them.”
‘If we have it, we provide it’
She said it’s entirely the Lord’s provision. The center operates on a tight budget, but somehow it continues to meet needs.
“Everything is free for the women,” Niebanck said. “If we have it, we provide it.”
LaBelle Haven Baptist Church in Olive Branch, Mississippi, is one of the area churches that comes alongside Care Center to support the ministry.
Renea Beene, the church’s children’s director, said it sends empty baby bottles home with church members each year on Mother’s Day and asks them to bring the bottles back on Father’s Day with a donation inside, whether that’s change, bills or checks.
The church also holds events where it collects baby items that can be given to expectant mothers who come to Care Center.
“The center’s ministry is something that we feel is important in our area, and we want to do all we can to support them since they function on donations,” Beene said.
Care Center is one of more than 2,500 pro-life pregnancy resource centers across the U.S. focused on helping mothers have the information and practical support they need to deliver and parent their children.
In 2022, Care Center provided more than 1,300 pregnancy tests and more than 900 ultrasounds. Volunteers also provided more than 2,400 sessions of counseling and 1,805 benevolence gifts.
“There are women who walk out of our doors, and we think they’ve decided to have abortions, but they come back in later with the baby in the stroller,” Niebanck said.
One teenage mother decided to keep her baby, and with support she was able to graduate high school as valedictorian. Her baby boy was present for her speech.
“We’re very grateful for what God has done,” Niebanck said.
For more information about Care Center, visit careprc.org.